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Turkey’s Savranbasi on Tokyo 2020: ‘I Dreamed, I Believed, I Succeeded’
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Turkish gymnast Nazli Savranbasi told IG that desire, faith and hard work produced her berth to this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“I always believed that I had a chance,” said Savranbasi, who earned an individual spot for Tokyo based on her performance at last fall’s World Championships in Stuttgart. “I was less experienced than my teammates but I focused on this for four years. I dreamed, I believed and I succeeded in it.”

Savranbasi is the third Turkish female gymnast to qualify for the Games, following teammates Goksu Uctas Sanli (2012) and Tutya Yilmaz (2016), both of whom have inspired her as she makes her own mark on the sport at home and abroad.

“Goksu and Tutya always supported me,” said Savranbasi, who was born October 9, 2003, in the Konak district of Izmir. “I learned a lot of things from them. And of course, I want to represent my country just like they do. Also, I want to be in the final for the the all-around and uneven bars, which will be the first time in our history.”

Savranbasi’s ambitious targets for Tokyo are based on her respectable all-around and apparatus results in the past couple of years. She placed 19th all-around at the 2018 European Junior Championships in Glasgow, 31st all-around in qualifications at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and 61st all-around in qualifications in Stuttgart. Last year Savranbasi was first on uneven bars and fifth on vault at the Challenge Cup of Mersin, seventh on uneven bars at the Challenge Cup of Koper, and ninth on floor exercise at the World Cup of Baku.

“Of course, I’m training on all four apparatus and I will do my best to be in the apparatus finals,” said Savranbasi, who trains in Izmir under coaches Ozgur Gumuslu (vault, uneven bars and floor exercise) and Aysel Gumuslu (balance beam and floor exercise).

Savranbasi said she is also benefiting from mental coaching that helps her manage the pressure unique to preparing for and competing at the Olympic Games.

“I’m getting professional help from a psychologist,” she said. “We are doing really good work with him. It will be my first Olympic Games experience. Therefore, I feel excited and a bit stressed. But I believe I will overcome it, too.”

Since qualifying for Tokyo, Savranbasi has welcomed the attention she has received from Turkish media, as well as from Turkish youngsters for whom she is a new role model.

“I learned that I have become an example for the children,” she told IG. “This made me very happy. It has positively affected my training and boosted my motivation. I think I could show people that women can perform sports that require strength, such as artistic gymnastics. And I think I’m an example for my little ‘sisters’ in this sport.”

International Gymnast magazine’s coverage of Turkish gymnasts includes:

“Turkish Delight” - interviews/profiles of Goksu Uctas Sanli, Tutya Yilmaz, Ibrahim Colak and Ahmet Onder (October 2018)

Onder on cover photo collage, Onder profile (July/August 2019)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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